As the national economy continues to improve, enterprises will spend increasing amounts on IP telephony and storage, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers said.
"With the average PBX being nine years old, most enterprises will be forced to change over their systems in the next year, and many of them will choose to go with IP," Chambers said Wednesday in a keynote address at the company's annual analyst conference in Santa Clara, Calif. "IP telephony is one of those applications that is probably in many accounts, architecturally, has already been decided, and we're ready to meet that need."
To do this, Chambers noted that industry experts and channel partners can expect to see Cisco partnering with larger companies to drive new products and managed services in this area. He added that as Cisco business customers make sense of their budgets and technological needs, two key questions for the future will be how quickly they will move their voice and data onto one network, and which products and services they will use to manage the networks they adopt.
In the meantime, Chambers predicted that another area in which customers will likely be spending is storage, and said that Cisco plans to meet these needs with a variety of new solutions. Though Cisco entered the storage sector only earlier this year, the San Jose, Calif.-based network equipment company believes the business line could be a billion-dollar revenue category within five years.
Already, this quarter's storage revenue has surpassed last quarter's, which Chambers labeled as "disappointing." Still, Chambers admitted that developing technology in this segment could be "bumpy," given the presence of established competitors in the marketplace.